Friday, June 7, 2013

Banana Bread Muffins

The following recipe makes delicious, moist, banana-bread-like muffins.  They turn out great every time, no matter what allergens (even gluten!) are avoided.  Originally this recipe called for an egg, but I guess I copied it down wrong from my mother’s recipe card!  I made it for years—egg-free and successfully!—before realizing the omission.  Apparently it doesn't need an egg (banana acts as an egg in quick breads like this).

Banana Bread Muffins
I find this to be a great way to use up those over-ripe bananas!  They are perfect for a simple breakfast, an accompaniment to brunch, or even an afternoon snack.  I like to eat these muffins* smeared with “butter” (allergy-free, of course) and/or warmed slightly. 

·         1 teaspoon vinegar
·         milk 
·         2 ripe bananas, mashed**
·         ½ cup vegetable oil
·         1 t. vanilla extract
·         1 cup sugar
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         ¼ teaspoon baking soda
·         Cinnamon-sugar (1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon)—optional

1.       Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.       Grease muffin tin, or line it with paper baking cups.
3.       Pour vinegar into a liquid measuring cup.  Add enough milk to equal ¼ cup; stir and set aside.
4.       In a mixing bowl, combine bananas, oil, and vanilla.
5.       To a separate bowl, add sugar, flour, baking powder, and baking soda; mix well.
6.       Add dry ingredient mixture along with milk mixture to banana mixture.
7.       Beat on low speed or mix by hand until well combined, but be careful not to over-mix.
8.       Place batter by large scoopful (about ¼ c.) into prepared muffin tin.  Sprinkle each muffin with cinnamon-sugar before baking (optional).
9.       Bake 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Makes 12 to 15 muffins.

*The batter can also be baked in a greased, 9-inch square pan instead of made as muffins.  Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes; let cool in pan on wire rack.
**Instead of peeling, cut bananas in half horizontally and simply squeeze out contents into a bowl.  Use a potato masher to easily mash the bananas. 

This recipe is free of eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.  To make it dairy-free, choose a milk alternative safe for your allergy set (I prefer canned coconut milk).  To make it wheat and/or gluten free, use an all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used the Better Batter brand, which does contain xanthan gum).  Always double-check ingredients, including cross-contamination risk based on your level of sensitivity and comfort.